DON’T MISS: Brisbane May-Sept 2012

Absolutely top of your don’t-miss list this year is Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado, showing at the Qld Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). Spanning four centuries, the big names include El Greco, Velázquez and Rubens. “Spain was the global power at the time,” says the gallery’s International Art curator, David Burnett. “This exhibition is a huge historical read: it’s a lens through which we can look at the rest of Europe and the world at that time.” His favourites in the exhibition include a series of etchings by Goya. A coup for Qld, this is the first time works from the Museo Nacional del Prado have visited Australia (QAGOMA,, July 21 - Nov 4).

 Next door, at the newly revamped Qld Museum, the sure-fire blockbuster Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb brings treasures from the British Museum's Egyptian collection to Brisbane. Nesperennub was a temple priest and his 3000-year-old mummified body is on display. The exhibition includes a fantastic 3D film of his preservation, including the x-ray and CT scans that helped create a haunting model of his face. The oldest objects date back to 2500BC, and highlights include a beautiful model of a funerary boat, with its rich colouring still intact (Qld Museum,, April 19 -Aug 19)

A footy club’s locker room is the setting of The Truth About Kookaburras, a gritty murder mystery that opens with 13 naked men on stage. The language is, well, what you’d expect when a bunch of blokes are talking about last night’s boozy buck's night, complete with strippers and, ultimately, a dead man, but it’s the poignant exploration of men’s changing role in society that will keep you talking (La Boite Theatre Company,, June 6-23) 

Opera Australia’s 2012 season brings Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream  to Brisbane (May 26 – Jun 8). With lush costumers and scenery, The Magic Flute is a family-friendly, English-language version that will have kids entranced by the colour and wild puppetry, while Dream is Baz Luhrmann and designer Catherine Martin’s celebrated interpretation of the Shakespeare classic is set in colonial India. 

September is festival madness as the Brisbane Festival takes over the city. Highlights include pianist extraordinaire, Evgeny Kissin, celebrated Belgian dance company les ballets C de la B and the debut of Symphonia Eluvium (Symphony of the Floods) by Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin, commissioned by the Festival. The annual event ends with a bang and a fireworks extravaganza, Sunsuper Riverfire. Hit South Bank early for a good possie (Sept 8-29,

Source: Sun Herald newspaper

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